Oscar History

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Beauty Vs Beast: The Devil & Chris MacNeil

JA from MNPP here - what with The Film Experience turning its eyes towards the year that was 1973 this month I kind of feel it's my duty as the horror-genre drum-beater in residence to pick up the baton (ahh, delicious scrambled metaphors) and race us over to the brownstones of Georgetown for a hot minute, where a sweet little girl and her mother are busy being dragged through all nine circles of Hell and back for this week's Exorcist-flavored edition of "Beauty Vs. Beast."

Quite a literal round this time: an emphatically most horrible Beast, while our Beauty... well, Ellen Burstyn's Chris MacNeil is maybe even a smidge too amazing as our Beauty? I know most of the film's power comes from the corruption of the sweet relationship she has with her daughter but it always feels a wee bit to me like it strains credibility how much time this seemingly A-list actress makes for just hanging out with her kid. Anybody else? Maybe I've seen Mommie Dearest too many times. But I've always felt like there's the spectre of unaddressed tension in the scene where Regan interrupts her mother's fancy-people dinner-party with that humiliating bladder-release - Regan banished to bed, getting her revenge at a distracted mother...

That said the time's come to prove you Actressexual bonafides. Great Actress in Peril!


You have one week to vote, vote, vote as if the soul of a little girl depends upon it, and convince us in the comments why we should choose light over darkness or vice versa. The power of poll compels you!

PREVIOUSLY Last week we whipped out our business cards and compared the watermarks of two Type-A Wall Street a-holes - as I figured we were all more than willing (well 3/4s of us were anyway) to set aside our scruples for a mass-murderer as long as he looks like Christian Bale looked like in American Psycho. I'm not judging! I cleaned out my cookies so I could vote for Patrick Bateman twice. I always have a moment of hesitance when Cara Seymour gets in that limo the second time, fearing I might do the same... Said David:

"Ashamed to say this, but the image of Patrick Bateman flexing his biceps, staring at himself in the mirror while screwing prostitutes left such an indelible image frozen in my brain for years. So yes Patrick Bateman, a thousand times yes."

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Reader Comments (10)

The fact that the Exorcist Demon is actually named Pazuzu is one of the goofiest things ever.

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

While I won't dismiss the hammy harmony of those letters slapped together to our modern eyeballs and ears, Pazuzu as a name wasn't actually made up by Blatty or the filmmakers - it's the name of an ancient Babylonian figure, a demon of famine and pestilence.

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJA

I like Regan MacNeil but I have always suspected that she isn't even half the actress that Ellen Burstyn is. And there's no movie without Pazuzu so I'm voting for the devil! The power of The Exorcist compels me.

July 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

"Willing to pass along messages from loved ones" LOL!!!!

I'm team Chris all the way. Love super moms in movies.

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

i love "likes children" hee

July 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Ellen is so brilliant in this film, I have to go with Chris. Still, that devil has some impressive tricks up his sleeve, even if theoretically he is against vulgar displays of power. Team Chris! Give her that damn crucifix already!

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Ellen is brilliant in every film! Of course I have to vote for her.

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

While I think Linda Blair completely deserves that Oscar over Tatum O'Neal (category fraud aside by O'Neil) and I don't think it's even remotely close, just as Burstyn being miles superior to Glenda Jackson in "Women In Love" (again, category fraud aside by Burstyn), am I the only one who remembers Jason Miller giving the best performance of the film (once again, category fraud aside)?

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

Team Chris all the way. I've always imagined that Chris is an oscar-winning actress, just like how I've always imagined Ellen Burstyn won oscar for this role instead.

And that pic is simply one of the scariest scene in that movie, so frickin chilling.

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercraver

Great job, i like it, thanks for the sharing ....

July 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAyush Chandra

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